Five Ways to Build Up Your Resume without Breaking Down Your Wallet

If you’re just starting a career or are looking to break into a new one, education can be an instant resume-builder. Opening yourself to new ideas and broadening your skill set not only exposes you to new ways of thinking, it also signals to potential employers that you possess the interest, drive, and academic foundation necessary to become a valuable employee.

Often, though, traditional education comes with a price tag that can be prohibitive for even the most determined students. That’s especially true for anyone with families or who is already paying off college debt.

Today, though, there are more ways than ever to skirt the traditional model’s cost while and still receiving quality instruction.  Technology has made on-demand learning a reality.  If work commitments are preventing you from attending classes at a local college three nights a week, you can take them online from your living room.  If you feel like you lack the background to become a cyber-security professional, leading universities – think MIT and Harvard – offer free classes online that will help catch you up.  The government, too, has an interest in a  strong, educated workforce and is offering scholarships to students in exchange for Federal service.

So whether you’re a high school student just looking to get a leg up on college or a returning veteran seeking to acquire skills for a civilian career, there are plenty of funding opportunities and free program alternatives available for you to get you started.

The following is a quick rundown of five of those opportunities.

Opportunities for veterans

Program: Veteran’s Career Transition Program (VCTP)
Affiliation: Syracuse University
Who’s eligible: Post 9/11 veterans plus spouses and caretakers.  You must already be separated from active duty or within 18 months of doing so.
Cost: None
Overview: VCTP is a certificate program aimed at transitioning returning veterans and their spouses into the civilian workforce.  Upon enrollment you will become an official Syracuse student and receive an academic advisor.  After completing requirements for a track you will be awarded a graduate certificate from the university.  Classes begin quarterly.  Choose one of three tracks:

  • Professional Skills: prepares you to find employment with and to succeed in a modern private sector job.  Courses include researching companies, writing resume and cover letters, and Advanced MS Office.
  • Tech: prepares you for IT or operations careers.  Completion of certain classes will result in an industry certification.  Courses include foundations in MS Office and Oracle databases, network technician courses, server operations, and cyber-security.
  • Independent Study: allows you to begin your studies any time and not be held to the quarterly schedule.  This track is preferable if you’re already employed and need to gain certification to advance your career although it does not provide an academic advisor or result in a university certificate.

See the VCTP page for more information.

Program: Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs) and VA Learning Hubs
Affiliation: Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Who’s eligible: Transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans from any era
Cost: None
Overview: As part of President Obama’s challenge to provide better opportunities to Veterans, the VA launched a pair of training programs:

  • Accelerated Learning Programs: a seven-course pilot program exposing students to a range of IT-related subjects, including cyber-security training, boot camps for desktop support, certifications in networking, web services, and more.  As of September 2015, registration for the pilot ALPs had closed.  Check back periodically to see when registration will re-open.
  • VA Learning Hubs: these offer a combination of online learning via the Coursera platform with in-person sessions facilitated by Red Cross personnel that allow students to discuss topics and ask questions.  Certain in-person sessions also feature guest speakers and Q&A sessions with local experts.  Learning Hubs are available nationwide with constantly updating locations.  See this overview or contact vbaco@va.gov for more information.

Opportunities for civilians

Program: CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS)
Affiliation: National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  See a list of participating institutions.
Who’s eligible: Full-time undergraduate, graduate, and PhD candidate students who are two or three years away from graduating with a cyber-security degree.  Must be a U.S. citizen and meet criteria for Federal employment.
Cost: None
Overview: The Scholarship for Service program seeks to train students to protect America’s cyber-infrastructure against attacks.  The scholarship covers normal academic costs, including tuition and fees, a health reimbursement allowance, a professional development allowance, and a book allowance, but not parking or meal plans.  In addition, undergraduate recipients receive stipends of $20,000; graduates receive $32,000.

If you are awarded an SFS, you will be required to serve an internship as well as accept Federal employment – most likely in Washington, DC – equal in length to the term of the scholarship or for one year, whichever is longer.

See the CyberCorps Scholarship home page for details.  You can also contact Travis McKone (757-441-3181) or Kathy Roberson, SFS Program Manager (405-259-8277). Both are available by email at sfs@opm.gov.

Program: Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)
Affiliation: Department of Homeland Security
Who’s eligible: All U.S. government personnel, including contractors
Cost: None
Overview: Another initiative aimed at propping up America’s cyber-defenses.  FedTVE seeks to keep a ready supply of cyber-aware professionals available for Federal employment.  Courses include Certified Ethical Hacking, Network Testing, Penetration Testing, and Windows Operating System Security.  Students can enroll for online classes ranging from beginner to advanced proficiency, and will receive a FedVTE certificate upon completion of each course.

For more information, see the FedVTE program site.

Program: edx.org
Affiliation: Varies
Who’s eligible: Everyone
Cost:  Participating in a real-time class or receiving a verified certificate to officially document your coursework will incur a minimum fee.  Other courses will charge for enrollment.  Auditing any class – in other words, taking the tests but not participating in discussions or receiving a certificate – is free.
Overview: EdX is an learning platform universities use to make their courses available online.  If you were wondering when we would get to the online offerings from Harvard and MIT, this is it.  Course selection is as diverse as at any major university: cyber-security and political affairs are available, as are economics, leadership training, chemistry, engineering, ethics, music, design, social sciences, and more.  If a subject interests you or would be valuable to your career, you’ll likely find it here.

For more information, visit https://www.edx.org/.

Program: Volunteering
Affiliation: Varies
Who’s eligible: Everyone
Cost: None
Overview: If you’re counting, you’ll notice this is number six in a five-item list. That’s because while volunteering isn’t an educational opportunity in the strictest sense, it absolutely fulfills the the most crucial requirement for gaining experience: hands-on exposure. If you’re happy leaving tests and studying in your past, you may want to consider donating your time to some of the countless non- and not-for-profit organizations that are always happy to accept help. Many will embrace virtual volunteers as well, meaning you can support any cause you want, whether it’s in Austin or Amman. Find opportunities at your local volunteer center, or check some of the volunteering websites such as VolunteerMatchidealist.orgCreate the Good, and serve.gov. For those of you who are more internationally minded, you can explore Benevola or the United Nations’ volunteer portal at unv.org. Even LinkedIn has gotten into the volunteering space with volunteer.linkedin.com.

Of course, the Lint Center is also looking to add quality help in exchange for real-world experience. Speaking from my brief time here, it’s a great team to be a part of!

Hopefully, if you’ve been looking for career progression but are worrying about the cost to get there, this list has provided you with some alternate paths to consider. These options will get you just as impressive a bullet on your resume, whether you’re looking for assistance with affording formal education at a brick-and-mortar institution or just need an online course to take after the kids are asleep.  So register for that class or apply for that scholarship, and then give yourself a pat on the back for finding a way to get ahead without breaking the bank.


About the Author:
Ben Oatis is a technical writer in New England with an off hours passion for international affairs and how they impact national security.  He holds a BA in History from Ohio State and an MS in Information Architecture from Kent State.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers. 

Countering Internet Radicalization by the Islamic State (ISIL)

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has taken advantage of technology to recruit western citizens into the organization.map

ISIL extremists are utilizing the Internet and social media networks (SMNs) to fund activities and recruit new members on a scale never before seen with frightening effectiveness and impactful reach.

In 2014, three American teenage girls attempted to travel from Colorado to Syria to join ISIL. These girls were engaged in conversations with extremists via online forums (Brumfield, 2014). This year, six young men from Minnesota attempted join ISIL, two of which were previously charged with attempting to provide material support to the terrorist organization (Levs & Vercammen, 2015). ISIL has shown an intuitive ability to persuade and solicit westerners into joining its ranks, usually through appealing to impressionable youths.

The extremists’ online radicalization agenda appears to have two primary goals: to persuade people to leave the US and join the fight in Syria and to recruit individuals to commit attacks and atrocities within the US domestically. So how exactly has ISIL been able to so successfully radicalize the online community?

ISIL recruiters seem to focus on socially disenfranchised youth struggling to find acceptance and purpose. Many of these individuals are second generation Muslims who feel alienated from society (McDermott, 2015). Some politicians within the US view Islam as a threat, chastising them for not assimilating into western culture (Bhattacharyya, 2015). In fact, according to a Pew Research Center Poll, nearly 50% of American Muslims acknowledged some degree of post-9/11 discrimination, ignorance against Islam, and negative media portrayals (Sahgal, 2013). This in turn can push some Muslim citizens towards radical recruiters offering them societal fulfillment, a chance to be a part of something meaningful, and a non-judgmental community. (Bizina & Gray, 2014).

Due in large part to globalization and the ubiquitous of connected devices around the globe, the Internet is becoming more readily available worldwide and is no longer limited to populaces within the developed world alone. As a result, this provides a direct communications pipeline to a previously untapped demographic of the world’s population, which affords extremists in Syria and Iraq to recruit westerners.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the primary method of online radicalization. Online forums and instant messaging apps have also been used Since ISIL appears focused on recruiting westerners, propaganda campaigns are undertaken in multiple European languages in order to reach both a larger audience. ISIL has been taking advantage of the popularity of SMNs with young people; and through charismatic recruiters, extremists have been able to persuade individuals to leave their country and fight for ISIL.

ISIL seems to have a strong track record of attracting impressionable young individuals looking for fulfillment by promising ‘gifts from Allah,’ as nearly 3,000 foreigners have traveled to fight (Barrett, 2014).  Its propaganda videos are meant to elicit strong emotions and a call of action from young adults. It also attempts to promote the idea that western nations are anti-Islam rather than anti-extremist, thus further alienating second generation Muslims (Yan, 2015).

Furthermore, there appears to be trend whereas individuals are joining ISIL in groups, such as the three Colorado teens and the six Minnesota men. This is the result of the psychological phenomenon called ‘group think,’ where the desire for conformity in a group will lead all members to act cohesively (Bizina & Gray, 2014).

The US government is having some difficulties in finding and stopping recruiting campaigns. Part of this stems from the sheer vastness of the Internet as well as the encryption of communication data between suspected extremists.

The infamous hacktivist group, Anonymous, has been engaged in cyber warfare against ISIL (Radware ERT Threat Alert, 2015). The group has taken down numerous extremist websites and released names of ISIL members to the authorities (McKay, 2015). Anonymous may be able to limit ISIL’s recruiting program, but some intelligence analysts are uneasy with their actions. If ISIL websites are taken offline, officials will be unable to analyze extremist communications and plot their next moves. And for the most part, Anonymous seems to just be annoying ISIL and pushing them to use more encrypted and hidden means to recruit, making them harder to track and stop. Anonymous’ actions may be counterproductive (McKay, 2015).

Many SMNs are taking steps to identify and suspends accounts belonging to extremists (“Twitter deletes all…” 2014).  For example, Facebook and Twitter have already taken actions against Internet radicalization. Some experts believe that an anti-propaganda war must be taken against ISIL to diminish its popularity (McKay, 2015).

According to the White House, the government has taken multiple steps to prevent online radicalization. The government has focused on raising awareness about the dangers, worked with the technological industry to develop tools that can help counter recruitment, and collaborated with the industry to on ways to counter extremism without infringing on privacy rights (Wiktorowicz, 2013). According to the FBI, the US has been able to implement a “counter narrative” against ISIL propaganda, however, due to the size of ISIL’s online presence, the effect has been minimal (Levine, 2015).

Two policy recommendations are offered as a means to inhibit the online radicalization of western citizens: foster a welcoming environment for Muslims and aid SMN’s in thwarting radicalization.

Firstly, efforts to reduce the alienation and discrimination of western Muslims must be undertaken by society. One reason ISIL has been seeing success with their recruitment programs is due to the disenfranchisement and impressionability of many young immigrant Muslims. These citizens see themselves living in societies that often times possess negative views about Islam. This alienates those attempting to assimilate into society. ISIL likely targets these individuals in its recruitment campaigns. There are a number of ways to improve Muslims’ standards of living which could help Muslims integrate into American culture. First, Islam must be understood on a societal level. Efforts should be taken to “de-mystify Islam,” making society more accepting (Bizina & Gray, 2014). However, new arrivals should also learn about the society they are choosing to join. Next, local community mosques should make the effort to reach out to the community, not only helping new Muslims, but also non-Muslim citizens in an attempt to bridge differences and generating understanding. Thirdly, politicians and the media should be careful not to instill prejudices when referring to Islam. Most importantly, Muslims need to engage themselves with American culture as a means to integrate themselves into the society. By improving their standards of living and showing Muslims that America is a welcoming nation, western Muslims may be much less likely to radicalize, thus depriving ISIL of its targets.

Secondly, SMNs should have the responsibility to acknowledge, track, and terminate suspected radicalization campaigns. The networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, could also enlist the support of their users to help identify and flag threatening public SMN activity.MNs should also provide information to the legitimate authorities concerning possible leads. By improving the awareness of SMNs, ISIL could be deprived of the tools needed to radicalize individuals. And in regards to ISIL propaganda campaigns, the US has been engaged in counter- propaganda in an attempt to dissuade individuals from joining ISIL. These efforts on the part of the US should continue (Robinson, 2014).

About the Author:

Zarek Shaikh graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s in Global Affairs and a minor in Intelligence Analysis. He is currently an analyst for the Pharmaceutical Security Institute and a volunteer with the Lint Center for National Security Studies.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers. 

References

Barrett, R. (2014, June 1). Foreign Fighters in Syria. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from http://soufangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/TSG-Foreign-Fighters-in-Syria.pdf

Bhattacharyya, A. (2015, January 28). Why should American Muslims have to assimilate? Retrieved August 15, 2015, from http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/1/should-american-muslims-have-to-assimilate.html

Brumfield, B. (2014, October 20). Officials: 3 Denver girls played hooky from school and tried to join ISIS. Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/us/colorado-teens-syria-odyssey/

Bizina, M., & Gray, D. (2014). Radicalization of Youth as a Growing Concern for Counter – Terrorism Policy. Global Security Studies, 5(1), 1-8. Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://www.globalsecuritystudies.com/Bizina Youth-AG.pdf

Levine, M. (2015, February 26). Home News FBI: ‘We Are Losing the Battle’ to Stop ISIS Radicalization Online. Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://abcnews.go.com/News/fbi-losing-battle-stop-isis-radicalization-online/story?id=29241652

Levs, J. & Vercammen, P. (2015, April 20). Arrests of ISIS supporters in Minnesota shed light on recruiting, U.S. says. Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/20/us/fbi-terrorism-probe/index.html

McDermott, C. (2015, March 2). Cleveland FBI works to stop ISIS from radicalizing Northeast   Ohioans to commit terror attacks in US. Retrieved July 31, 2015, from http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/cleveland-metro/the-cleveland-fbi-is-working-to-stop-people-from-radicalizing-committing-attacks-in-northern-ohio

McKay, T. (2015, March 17). Anonymous Just Declared War on ISIS with a Massive Hack.  Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://mic.com/articles/112944/anonymous-went-after-the-islamic-state-with-a-massive-hack-but-was-it-a-good-idea

Radware ERT Threat Alert. (2015, April 1). ISIS Cyber Attacks. Retrieved July 31, 2015, from             http://security.radware.com/uploadedFiles/Resources_and_Content/Threat/ERT Threat Alert – ISIS Cyber Attacks.pdf

Robinson, B. (2014, September 6). War on Twitter: State Department makes mock ISIS    recruiting video to counter terror group’s online pursuit of Westerners. Retrieved  September 6, 2015 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2745875/War-Twitter-State-Department-releases-mock-ISIS-recruitment-film-bid-counter-terror-groups-online-pursuit-Westerners.html

Sahgal, N. (2013, November 26). Study: Muslim job candidates may face discrimination in Republican states. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact- tank/2013/11/26/study-muslim-job-candidates-may-face-discrimination-in-republican-states/

Twitter Deletes All Official Accounts for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (ISIL). (2014, June 14). Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://arabcrunch.com/2014/06/twitter-deletes-  all-official-accounts-for-the-islamic-state-of-iraq-and-syria-isis-isil.html

Wiktorowicz, Q. (2013, February 5). Working to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence in the United States. Retrieved July 30, 2015, from            https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/05/working-counter-online-radicalization-violence-united-states

Yan, H. (2015, March 23). How is ISIS luring Westerners? Retrieved July 30, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/23/world/isis-luring-westerners/index.html

 

July 2015 Scholarship Winners

The Lint Center Summer 2015 Scholarship Competition has concluded, and the winners have been selected!

Josiah Depaoli is the winner of the Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship ($1500).
Hunter Reynolds is the winner of the Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship ($500).

Full press releases will be following shortly.

Lessons Learned from El Chapo: The Transnational Impact of the Latin American Drug Trade

elchapo

On July 11, 2015, when notorious drug lord Joaqín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico through a nearly one mile long underground tunnel, the world took notice. Mexican Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong immediately returned home from a state visit to France to assist with damage control in the wake of the unfolding narrative that El Chapo’s prison break was an “inside job” made possible by government corruption. The rest of Latin America went on high alert, ramping up border security from Guatemala all the way to Columbia (O’Reilly, 2015).

Tellingly, however, concern over El Chapo’s escape was not limited to Latin America. As weeks passed and the fruitless manhunt for El Chapo dragged on, the United States demonstrated it, too, had a stake in seeing Guzmán put safely behind bars. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) created an El Chapo toll-free tip line and the U.S. State Department offered five million dollars for his arrest.

wantedpostedThe United States’ interest in El Chapo should come as no surprise considering that, according to the DEA, Guzmán has been charged with drug trafficking and other crimes in multiple courts across the country dating as far back as 1995. “Joaqín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán-Loera has destroyed lives and communities throughout the United States and Mexico,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a press release, “His escape poses a danger to the safety and security of both our countries.”

The escape of El Chapo and Mr. Rosenberg’s remarks provide insight into a larger phenomenon: the transnational impact of the Latin America drug trade, and the implications of the drug trade for United States national security.

The Path to the United States: Cocaine and Heroin in Transit

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported in its 2015 National Drug Report that South America is the main point of departure for cocaine to the rest of the world. According to the UNODC report, Bolivia, Columbia and Peru serve as the major cocaine producers and departure countries for the export of cocaine to the rest of Latin America. From there, other nations including Brazil and Argentina constitute trafficking points to the United States’ cocaine market. Drug traffickers utilize a variety of means to successfully transport cocaine to the United States, including maritime trafficking and trafficking by air.

Though cocaine has traditionally attracted the attention of the media in discussion of the Latin American drug trade, in recent years the trafficking of heroin has become nearly as significant for the United States’ illegal drug market. The UNODC report explains that seizures of heroin in the United States have increased since 2008, up to 6.2 tons in 2013, and authorities have witnessed an increase in the trafficking of heroin produced by both Mexico and South America. The prevalence of Latin American heroin trafficking seems especially significant in light of an increase in heroin-related deaths in the United States, up nearly 3,000 from 2012 to 2013.

A Steep Economic and Political Toll

In addition to mounting an obvious and alarming cost to public health, the prevalence of the Latin American drug trade has broader implications for the societal wellbeing and international relations of the United States.

First and foremost, the flow of illicit drugs to the United States cripples productivity and threatens the stability of the United States economy. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that the United States lost $193 billion to drug abuse in 2007, the last available estimate. Embedded in this number are the massive implications of drug use for workforce productivity, healthcare costs, and criminal justice costs.

The United States has made a considerable monetary investment in combatting both domestic drug use and the transnational drug trade, with the Obama administration committing $10 billion to support drug demand reduction programs and $2.4 billion toward international drug control programs in fiscal year 12 alone. It is unclear at best whether the United States has received a significant return on this investment, as according to the UNODC the rate of cocaine use in the United States has remained relatively stagnant at 1.6% for the past few years and the number of drug-related deaths in the country is continually on the rise.

The domestic economic toll of the drug trade is compounded by transnational negative effects which ultimately harm the United States’ interests in the region. The White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime argues that organized crime, including narcotic trafficking networks, threatens the United States’ interests through “taking advantage of failed states or contested spaces; forging alliances with corrupt foreign government officials and some foreign intelligence services; destabilizing political, financial, and security institutions in fragile states; [and] undermining competition in world strategic markets.”

The destabilizing effect of drug cartels and other forms of organized crime fosters corruption, making it more difficult for the United States to collaborate with its Latin American partners politically and economically. Further, the continued presence of massive narcotics trafficking networks serves only to threaten the legitimacy of Latin American governments, undermining the credibility of political institutions and potentially opening the floor to radical actors. In the case of El Chapo, Mexican President Peña Nieto faced public ridicule for the security breach and his public approval rating fell to a new low in the aftermath of the El Chapo scandal (Silva 2015).

United States’ Policy Moving Forward

Regardless of whether or not Joaqín “El Chapo” Guzmán is found, the Latin American drug trade should remain a focus of the United States’ national security policy moving forward. Some positive steps have already been taken in this direction. For example, the 2015 National Military Strategy, released by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in June, recognized the importance of a continued military role in “supporting interagency efforts with Latin American and Caribbean states to promote regional stability and counter transnational criminal organizations.”

Despite this established military commitment, with a new administration entering the White House in 2016 and a whole host of other international problems such as the rise of ISIS and the conflict in Ukraine competing for the attention of United States executives and legislators, it may seem tempting to place the problem of the Latin American drug trade on the backburner. Yet it remains in the long term interest of the United States to continue to protect domestic public health and economic growth, and to support the stability of political institutions abroad through a robust effort to end the transnational flow of narcotics.

References

“Headquarters News Releases, 08/05/15.” Drug Enforcement Administration, 5 Aug. 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015. <http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq080515.shtml>.

“How Illicit Drug Use Affects Business and the Economy.” The White House. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/how-illicit-drug-use-affects-business-and-the-economy>.

O’Reilly, Andrew. “Latin American Nations Ramp up Security amid Fears That Chapo May Flee to Mexico.” Fox News Latino 20 July 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015. <http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/07/20/latin-american-nations-ramp-up-security-amid-fears-that-chapo-may-flee-mexico/>.

“Reducing Drug Demand in the U.S.” The White House. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/reducing-drug-demand-in-the-us>.

“Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.” The White House, July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Strategy_to_Combat_Transnational_Organized_Crime_July_2011.pdf>.

“The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015.” Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1 June 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Publications/2015_National_Military_Strategy.pdf>.

“World Drug Report.” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, May 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015. <http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr2015/World_Drug_Report_2015.pdf>.

Photo Credit

1) Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents along with U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard personnel intercepted a semi-submersible craft carrying more than 16,870 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18, 2015. Source: http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/2015-07-22-000000/cbp-oam-interagency-partners-interdict-semi

2) Courtesy of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration: Official wanted poster for Joaqín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. Source: http://www.dea.gov/resources/img/Ads/guzman-e.html

About the Author

rutlandNoelle Rutland is a member of the blogging team for the Lint Center for National Security. She is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics at Washington and Lee University pursuing a double major in Global Politics and Spanish. In addition to her majors, Noelle is studying Mandarin Chinese and lived in Zhuhai, China for six weeks as a recipient of the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship program. Noelle previously served as the Press, Media and Government Relations Intern for the Institute for the Study of War and looks forward to continuing to engage in national security issues as a Lint Center volunteer.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.

Happy Independence Day!

 american-flag-1419179176jzg

The strides of freedom and courage shall always be remembered on Independence Day. May we be forever grateful to the men and women who have so bravely volunteered to preserve the principles on which our Nation was founded. The Lint Center is honored to have many members that are a part of this proud legacy.

Members like Jack McCoy, who served honorably in the U.S. Navy aboard an Ocean Fleet Tug during the Korean War. His four years of service allowed him to see the vast majority of the Pacific region which inspired his quest for knowledge. His education and life experiences led to his mission of being an instrument of peace. Mr. McCoy states “so all can live in peace and harmony – a world of people, by the people, and for the people with liberty and justice for all.”

May we be forever grateful for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy in this great nation. The Lint Center wishes you a happy Independence Day!

Respectfully,

Ryan Sofranko
Operations Manager
Lint Center for National Security Studies

 

Homeland Security Today: DHS Gets a Budget

The following was originally posted on TimothyWColeman.com:

The most recent issue of Homeland Security Today is out and I would encourage you to give it a read.

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission and co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Program provide their unique perspective in the magazines Opinion & Politics section highlighting the fact that “the cyber domain is the battlefield of the future.”

In addition, there are hugely important features including the cover article by Anthony Kimery, editor-in-chief, highlighting How not to go about funding DHS.

As always, the magazine is full of other enticing and worthwhile reads that run the gamut of interest to those in the homeland security space. Focused feature topics that stand out for reading include: Responding to the Ebola EpidemicUS Labs Biosecurity GapsTerror financingData Center Consolidation and much, much more.

To read the magazine in full, please view the digital version HERE.

Lint Center Announces Partnership with Spies of Washington Tour

TS_PicLint Center Announces Partnership with Spies of Washington Tour 

Former Air Force Intelligence Officer donates spy tours to emerging leaders in the National Security Field

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 25, 2015 – The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced its newest corporate sponsor, Carol S. Bessette, Founder of Spies of Washington Tour, a D.C. based tour organization focused on providing the most comprehensive tours of real-world spying and espionage intrigue.

Recipients of Lint Center scholarships will now have the opportunity to attend walking-tours at a leisurely pace to learn about espionage and intelligence in the nation’s capital with Ms. Bessette as a personal tour guide through Spies of Washington Tour. Ms. Bessette will donate free tours that highlight the over 200-year history of Intelligence and Counterintelligence in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

Read more

Former CIA Analyst Joins Lint Center Mentoring Team

cialogoThe Lint Center for National Security Studies is delighted to welcome a tremendous edition to the Center’s already 200-plus strong mentoring team, Ms. Lisa Ruth.

Ruth spent 15 years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she worked as both an Intelligence Analyst and as a Special Projects Officer.

While at CIA, Ruth was a subject matter expert on Latin America. Her specific area of expertise included counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, tracing and identifying money laundering and illicit arms transfers.

During her career, Ruth conducted overseas tours for the CIA where she provided on-the-ground assistance for counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations as well as other high profile intelligence targets. Additionally, Ruth served at the White House Operations Centers, where she provided 24-hour, around the clock, intelligence support to the nations most senior policymakers.

Ruth is a renowned international risk consultant. Currently, she is President of CTC International Group, which is staffed primarily by former CIA officers and provides discreet, timely and accurate information to business executives. CTC is widely regarded as a leading private intelligence organization designed and poised to meet the evolving needs of corporate America.

She is also the Editor in Chief of Communities Digital News, a major online news publication that features independent journalists from around the world. She writes extensively on intelligence, world affairs, and breaking news. She also provides investigative reporting and news analysis.

Additionally, Ruth frequently appears on Newsmax TV, providing analysis, insight and expert commentary on international developments and she is contributor to Newsmax, The Washington Times and other notable publications.

Ruth has a Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, from George Mason University, an Masters in International Relations from the University of Virginia. She is a licensed private investigator in Florida, New Jersey, and Maryland; a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers; and a member of MENSA.

On behalf of the Lint Center for National Security Studies team, we wish to thank Lisa for volunteering her time, energy, and effort to mentoring emerging leaders who wish to follow in the footsteps of national service.

You can follow her on Twitter @lmruth.

Lint Center Article in International Policy Digest

ebolaWe are pleased to highlight one of our outstanding volunteers Brittany Walter.

Last month, after her blog post on the implications of Ebola on US national security was posted in this forum, Ms. Walter’s piece was picked up and reprinted in International Policy Digest as a standalone article.

Congrats Brittany on a job well done!

Please check out her article in International Policy Digest HERE.

You may also view her original LC post HERE.

Honoring Our Veterans

WWII_PicIn quiet tributes, at small family gatherings, in meeting halls, and at grand patriotic parades, Americans come together to honor and celebrate the men and women of the armed forces and those who have nobly fought to keep our country free on Veterans Day.

On this annual occasion, we celebrate the enduring bonds and gallant nature of the millions of men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

We honor them all – veterans past and present.

We pause and give thanks to them all.

While all American Veterans are united by their common duty, all Americans remain humbled and grateful to our veterans for their uncommon courage and commitment to national service.

The Lint Center wishes to thank each and every veteran – those serving and those who have served – we proudly salute you!Tomb_on_unknown

My life was late nights and early mornings, physical exhaustion and boredom, my life was hurry up and wait. My days were broiling heat, my nights freezing cold. I lived in pouring rain, freezing snow and stifling humidity. Dust, sand and mud were my bed, my pillow a rucksack, butt pack or helmet. My feet toughened by thousands of miles of roads, paths, trails and fields trod. My back made strong and wide by days upon weeks upon years of carrying my rucksack just one more click. My youth spent learning my craft, sharpening my will and hardening my body for whatever was asked of me. Taught by men who had been taught by men who had hit the beach, held that hill or leapt from that airplane. My teacher’s lessons collected by experiences written in blood, sweat and tears. My classroom was the forest, the jungle, the desert and the mountain. My certificate a colorful ribbon, a shiny badge and those stripes. My traditions are ageless, my heritage stretches back centuries, I descended from giants and am proud to be counted as one of them. My youth was spent in service to my country, my youth was spent with my brothers and sisters I served with, my youth was not misspent.” – Unknown US Army Ranger

Happy 239th Birthday to the Marine Corps!

486x274_q75

View on dvidshub.net

The Lint Center is pleased to congratulate the US Marine Corps on its 239th birthday!

The Center’s own founder, James R. Lint, joined the Marines on November 13, 1975. He recently noted, that he was “coming up on 39 years since vacationing in San Diego MCRD.”

To learn more about the US Marines, please check out the United States Marines Corps History Division HERE.

Volunteers Recognized at 2014 Points of Light Tribute Awards Ceremony

points-of-light-award-300x110
The Lint Center for National Security Studies inspired by the honorees at the 2014 Points of Light Tribute Awards CeremonyVolunteers from the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of the next generation of National Security workers, took part and were recognized at the 2014 Points of Light Tribute Award Ceremony at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. on October 22.

Lt. General Brent Scowcroft (USAF ret.), who served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents; NBA Legend, Dikembe Mutombo; Fox News Channel Greta Van Susteren, host of the prime-time news and interview program, “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” former New York Governor George Pataki and more than 250 other celebrities, dignitaries, and individuals from the corporate, nonprofit, government, service and entertainment industry attended the event to honor several individuals and organizations whose service and contributions to volunteering have had a positive local and global impact.

In attendance and on behalf of the Lint Center as well as all the hard working volunteers that help translate perspiration into success was the Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Timothy W. Coleman. “It was a tremendous opportunity to represent the Lint Center and to be recognized for all the incredible efforts of our volunteer team. To share in such an occasion and to be among individuals and organizations that have finite resources and use them to create change in varied and profound ways is always impactful. As an entirely volunteer based organization, we at the Lint Center, are moved everyday by individuals who donate their time and resources to causes they believe in and it’s regenerative to see individuals and organizations being recognized for their desire to do great things.”

This year, four individuals and organizations were recognized as Tribute Awardees by Points of Light Foundation:

  • Retired professional basketball player Yao Ming was recognized for The Yao Ming Foundation that seeks to improve the lives of children in China and the U.S., with an emphasis on providing educational opportunities.
  • Hewett-Packard who in 2013 logged more than 1.6 million volunteer hours and gave more than $13.3 million to nonprofits and schools.
  • Environmentalist Charles Orgbon III who started a club at age 12 to keep his school clean, then turned it into Greening Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a diverse global environmental movement powered by young people.
  • World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization founded by international chef José Andrés that feeds and empowers vulnerable people in humanitarian crises around the world.

Earlier this year, on the 13th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, The Lint Center was recognized by Points of Light with a Daily Points of Light Award for its aid in the advancement of the educational pursuits of the next generation of national security workers through its mentorship and scholarship programs.

“We created the Lint Center to fill a niche void, one that teamed emerging and talented national security rookies with veterans in the national security community,” said Kay Lee Nicholas, Director and Scholarship Committee Member for the Lint Center. “ The old saying that ‘rookies make rookie mistakes’ is a truism, however, the number and severity does not have to be of that cardinal reality. Lint Center scholarships and our mentoring program strive to elucidate that end.”

To date the Lint Center has awarded 32 merit-based scholarships ranging from $500-$1500. With financial support from corporate sponsorships, The Lint Center awards scholarships twice a year in January and July.

Is Ebola a Matter of National Security?

hrs_20141025-A-SR101-3772The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has caused tremendous fear across the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have now been 10,141 confirmed cases that have resulted in 4,922 deaths worldwide as of October 24, 2014.

The majority of the cases are confined to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone but travel-associated cases have been transmitted to Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Spain, and the United States. Although there has not been a large outbreak in the United States our federal government has approached the possibility with great stress that any potential transmission of the disease is a matter of national security.

The first case in the United States was diagnosed on September 30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas on a patient that had recently traveled to Liberia. Eric Duncan, now known as ‘index patient’, passed away on October 8, 2014 as the first patient to have contracted the disease overseas but to pass away in the United States. The head of the CDC, Thomas Friedan, has been urging hospitals nation wide to test for Ebola when patients come in displaying symptoms of the disease and a wary travel history (Gambino, 2014).

ebolamap03

The facts of the Ebola disease are critical to be mindful of due to the importance of raising awareness of risk factors in order to prevent transmission of infected persons to others. According to the World Health Organization, the EVD first appeared in Africa almost 40 years ago and maintains a fatality rate of around 50%. The high fatality rate is only one scary statistic for a disease that has the power to be easily transmitted. Symptoms of the Ebola virus consist of fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes among others. In order to be properly diagnosed there has to be confirmation via laboratory testing that can take up to 48 hours and is considered a very high biohazard risk for all those involved in the process.

White House Efforts

There has not been an overwhelmingly effort from countries worldwide to help aide countries that have been affected. The Red Cross has over 5,000 volunteers trained to combat the EVD but there has to be more involvement on the global level in order to help contain the most deadly outbreak of EVD in history.

President Obama commented to CNN reporter, Betsy Klein that, “If we don’t make the effort now, and this spreads not just through Africa but other parts of the world, there’s the prospect that the virus mutates. And then it could be a serious danger to the United States.”

President Obama has stated from the beginning of the outbreak that he considers this a top national security priority and that this is not a matter of charity but a humanitarian effort to protect the safety of the United States. Earlier this month, efforts to address the EVD outbreak were to use an all-hands-on-deck approach including efforts from public health, the White House, the Department of Defense, and America’s prestigious science teams in controlling the outbreak. Recently, states have been implementing their own 21-day quarantine efforts including Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, and even Maryland to help monitor the state and federal health department efforts (the State of Maine having a recent and countervailing lower court ruling).

Military Efforts

The spread of a deadly disease is most certainly a concern for national security and a feasible option to combat EVD is to involve U.S. military resources. There is now a 30-person team who has been specifically trained as an Ebola response team to protect health care workers being quarantined. The Ebola response team can be ready for deployment in 72 hours’ notice and must be approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel before acting on any orders.

The team has been trained in infection control, protective equipment, and detection. The team has received training at the Education, Training and Simulation Department of the San Antonio Military Medical Center. Command surgeon Air Force Col. John J. DeGoes and Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. have conducted the training and creation of this specialized team not only to fight Ebola but will also be used a precedent for future medical response teams on behalf of the DOD, Health and Human Services, Dept. of Homeland Security and other military branches. The military is currently deploying 4,000 personnel to West Africa to assist with the outbreak but the response team will only be used domestically if requested by the Centers for Disease Control but only with orders from the DoD.

Possibility of Bio-Terrorism

The level of potential terror risk posed by Ebola as a biological weapon has brought concern to the Department of Defense. The outbreak in West Africa has been occurring in a conflict driven zone occupied by terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram. The U.S. invested $140 million back in 2010 in a company called Tekmira to develop cures for the virus and continues to still get funding from the DoD to this day (Noack, 2014).

EVD is not believed at this time to be used as a bio-terror agent but possibilities are endless with today’s terrorist organizations. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases focuses on “protecting the Warfighter from emerging, genetically being altered, and unknown biological threats” as its mission in battling bio-terrorism. The DoD invests in research to protect against both intentional use and natural exposure of diseases that can impact not only Americans but also humans worldwide. There are to many intricate and scientific details that would be required to handle EVD in order to turn into a bio-terror weapon but the funding for research now may help eliminate the possibility in the future.

What’s in Store for the Future?

The Pentagon has also emphasized the relevance of EVD being a national security matter and being prepared domestically to control the disease is critical before being able to provide aide globally. President Obama has admitted that the United States must play a major role in combating Ebola in other infected countries but this is a global problem, which requires intervention from other national governments other than the United States. The high crisis magnitude of the outbreak needs U.S. intervention but the United Nations needs to require more involvement from others in the aide process. As the American public continues to remain in a state of palpable apprehension over the EVD there has to be consideration of the turmoil that is occurring in West Africa as well. President Obama’s emphasis on providing aide to regions that have massive EVD outbreak only helps to prevent future national security threats that could potentially occur in America if the disease is not contained overseas.


About the Author:

Untitled1Brittany Walter is a Marketing Coordinator at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. She is also currently a graduate student enrolled in the Global Affairs and Human Security Program at the University of Baltimore. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Washington College with a minor in Justice, Law, and Society. After graduating in the spring of 2015 she plans on enlisting in the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician Interpreter. She hopes to find a career in the intelligence and national security community in her future utilizing her education and time volunteering working for the Lint Center for National Security Studies.


REFERENCES:

  1. Cases of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States. (2014, October 25). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-a…
  2. Fantz, A., & Ellis, R. (1970, January 1). Nurse ordered released in New Jersey; boy under Ebola evaluation in New York. CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/health/us-ebola/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
  3. Gambino, L. (2014, October 6). Dallas Ebola Patient. The Guardian. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/06/nbc-photojournalist-diagnosed-ebola-nebraska
  4. Harper, D. (2014, October 6). Obama: Ebola ‘A Top National Security Priority’. The Weekly Standard. Retrieved October 28, 2014, from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-ebola-to…
  5. Klein, B., Castillo, M., & Botelho contributed to this report. (1970, January 1). Ebola is a ‘national security priority,’ Obama says. CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/07/politics/ebola-natio…
  6. Noack, R. (2014, August 5). Why Ebola worries the Defense Department. Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/08/05/why-ebola-worries-defense-department/
  7. West Africa: Ebola Outbreak. (n.d.). Ebola Outbreak. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.redcross.org/ebolaoutbreak

Photo Credit:

1) Courtesy of the US Department of Defense: Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Lawler, center, an infectious disease physician, talks to team members during a training event at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Oct. 25, 2014. The group is part of a 30-member DoD team that could be called on to respond to new cases of Ebola in the United States. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. Source: http://www.defense.gov/DODCMSShare/NewsStoryPhoto/2014-10/scr_20141025-A-SR101-3772.JPG

2) Courtesy of the US Department of Defense: USG Response to Ebola Outbreak, Source: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/1014_ebola/

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect official policy or the position of the Department of Defense or any other department or agency within the US Government. The opinions expressed by Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Lint Center Bloggers. 

Daily Point of Light Award

Volunteer Team Recognized by Pres. Bush’s Foundation, Points of Light Award

We are extremely proud and humbled to announce that the Lint Center for National Security Studies has earned a Daily Points of Light Award on behalf of President George H. W. Bush’s the Points of Light Foundation. Receiving this award and recognition on such a momentous day in our nation’s history is a true honor.

To see the official Points of Light blog post, please go here:

9/11 Made Counterterrorism ‘a More Pressing Priority’ for the Nation and for These Volunteers

And our profile page here:

LINT CENTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES

Our first corporate sponsor, Stratfor, was proud to hear the news that the Lint Center earned the Points of Light Award on 9/11.

“Stratfor welcomes the opportunity to support aspiring national security and intelligence community workers,” said Fred Burton, Vice President of Intelligence at Stratfor.

“On this 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our country, we are solemnly reminded of the serious challenges facing policy and decision makers as they strive to navigate the complexities of global geopolitical issues,” says Burton. “Stratfor proudly supports the Lint Center for National Security Studies in its ongoing quest to identify and mold the next generation of counterintelligence and national security leaders, and we congratulate the entire Lint Center team for this important and well-deserved honor from the Points of Light organization.”

Since 2007, the Lint Center has enabled students to further their studies in the intelligence and national security fields through its biannual scholarship program. Thanks to the tireless efforts of its volunteers and the generous support of its corporate sponsors and donors, including Stratfor, the Lint Center has awarded 57 scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,500 per student.

In addition to awarding merit-based scholarships, the Lint Center also facilitates a mentorship program connecting future leaders with current and former industry professionals.

“We created the Lint Center to fill a niche void, one that teamed emerging and talented national security rookies with veterans in the national security community,” says Kay Lee Nicholas, Director and Scholarship Committee Member.

“The old saying that ‘rookies make rookie mistakes’ is a truism, however, the number and severity does not have to be of that cardinal reality. Lint Center scholarships and our mentoring program strive to elucidate that end.”

As an all-volunteer organization with no paid employees, we depend on reliable individuals with a variety of skills to conduct both short and long-term projects.

“Our Volunteer Program allows individuals to work on projects from their current location, which provides us great flexibility,” says Bridget Struthers, Operations Coordinator.

“In turn, LC has developed a worldwide presence while offering volunteers the opportunity to develop skill sets, build resumes, and expand their network. We currently have open positions in volunteer coordination, marketing, public relations, web design, video production, blog writing, fundraising, and mentor care. We encourage volunteers to explore areas of interest, propose new ideas, and even create their own positions.”

Our web/graphic design team is currently working on a project to re-design and update the Lint Center’s website.We have several volunteers working on the project, led by K. McDonald.

“I volunteer because I am proud to support an organization that provides a needed service to the intelligence community. At Lint Center, I have a great deal of flexibility in what I do. My interest is technology, and I have been able to apply web and graphic design skills I learned in school to Lint Center projects. It’s rewarding to directly see my education making a difference in the world,” says McDonald.

Our marketing and public relations teams have made incredible progress over the past year, and we attribute much of our success, especially this award, to their hard work.

Elizabeth Molina, our Public Relations Coordinator says she volunteers because, “There is nothing more rewarding than being given the opportunity to give back and promote education in a niche field while further developing professionally. As a young professional, The Lint Center has allowed me to use the skills that I’ve learned through my experiences and background in communications to help someone else advance their career. It’s an incredible feeling to be a part of an organization that is comprised entirely of volunteers who donate their skills and time to aid in the pursuit of an education in a field that is rapidly changing.”

Our first scholarship winner and Member of the Board of Directors, Timothy W. Coleman, encourages volunteers to participate and take the initiative.

“As a certifying organization, we offer our outstanding volunteers the ability to work towards achieving a Presidential Volunteer Service Award issued by the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President of the United States,” says Coleman. “It’s a strong resume bullet and an impressive talking point, especially in a job interview. As such, we strongly encourage our team to participate.”

Many ask about the challenges associated with being a web-based organization and what brings LC volunteers together. “With many industry professionals nearing retirement, we recognize the need to develop scholars and leaders who have the ability to think outside the box, exercise sound judgment, and steer our nation in the right direction,” says Struthers. “We have organized an extraordinary team of individuals who share a passion for national security and a desire to protect our nation. At the Lint Center, we know that every volunteer is critical to our success. Our people are our greatest asset.”

Jim Lint, Chairman and CEO of the Lint Center, would like to thank the volunteers who work behind the scenes each day and set the example of service before self.As our leadership reminds us, “We win as a team and we earn this as a team.”

Thank you LC Volunteer Team!

To join our team, please visit the Lint Center website and apply today.

About Stratfor:

Stratfor is the world’s leading private intelligence company providing individuals and corporations with breaking intelligence, in-depth analysis, assessments and forecasts on global political, economic, security, and public policy issues. Through its unrivalled blend of strategic and tactical expertise, Stratfor helps clients protect their assets, diminish risk and increase opportunities to compete in the global market. Stratfor’s services include free intelligence reports, subscription-based access and confidential consulting. For more information, please visit www.stratfor.com.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization created to award merit-based scholarships biannually for Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, their children and scholars, and to advance the study of National Security, cross-cultural studies, and global understanding. The Center, an IRS approved charity, is veteran and minority operated and managed. For more information, please visit www.LintCenter.org.

I Fled Communist North Korea as a Teenager

From the Peninsula to the Washington Post, Dr. Jhong Sam Lee came a long way from his humble beginnings on a rice farm near Kiljoo, Korea, which became a part of North Korea when Korea divided. This otherwise unknown city was to garner worldwide prominence when the late North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il, reportedly held an underground nuclear test there in 2006 and again in 2009.

In a harrowing story, a 15-year-old Lee shunned enlistment into his homeland’s communist army and left home for fear of bringing retribution to his family. A series of watershed life events caused Lee to head south to join the Republic of Korea’s army to fight during the Korean War. Later captured by the North Koreans, he escaped and was eventually rescued by a group of US soldiers from the Oklahoma National Guard.

In a short respite from the military and a security-related path, Lee was accepted into high school for excellent math scores and later accepted into the leading university in South Korea, Seoul National University, to study mathematics as well. However, his passions belied his official chosen course of study. Lee soon realized his love of physics and engineering, and in an epiphany, decided to pursue his dream in the United States, not coincidentally, at the University of Oklahoma. In 1955, he arrived at the port of San Francisco with no more than $80 dollars in his pocket and the euphoria of his dreams tucked inside of his cargo ship pass.

Lee graduated from the University of Oklahoma and later received his master’s degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from George Washington University. The impetus to a life in defense and communications technologies begins shortly thereafter. The now Dr. Lee consulted for the Naval Research Laboratory and Radiation Systems Inc. of Mclean and worked as an advisory engineer for military satellites at IBM. Later becoming the Associate Director of the advanced system analysis office at Magnavox, Lee set the groundwork for founding his own military and satellite R+D firms.

In his exploits, Dr. Lee developed technology for use in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)-based cellphones. In a personal commentary on his life, Dr. Lee was known to have taken delight in one of his headlining publications, the “CDMA Systems Engineering Handbook”(1998), dropping from $800 to $113.32 dollars for a used copy on Amazon.com because the price-drop gave more people access to his book.

Further, Dr. Lee was named a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology, having quipped that, “this was a big deal to a farm boy from North Korea!”

The farm boy from North Korea, who said that one of his most critical decisions was “to come to the United States of America where [he] was afforded the opportunities to pursue education, business, and every liberty as a naturalized American citizen,” epitomizes the importance of cultural awareness, not only for the growth of the United States but for the safety of all those who engender the values we hold dear.

In commemoration of Dr. Lee’s service to the United States, the Lint Center has added Dr. Lee and his story to the “Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship” to illustrate the value and potential in cultural awareness and language acquisition.

References: